For the tenderest meatballs — without all bread filler, read here.
A couple of weeks ago, Linda Pelaccio, a producer and host at Heritage Radio Network, asked if I would talk to her about that very question. It’s the subject of my last book, Italian Home Cooking: 125 Recipes to Comfort Your Soul, and something that’s on my mind more than ever as I travel around Italy these days. Seems it’s going the way of America with its fast food habits and global food tastes, while we’re going the way of Italy, yearning to farm, recapture heritage seeds, and make artisan foods. So the other day, I made my way to the radio station launched by Patrick Martins, founder of Slow Food USA. I felt right at home in the cozy studio, built from two repurposed shipping containers. Besides, it’s on the premises of Roberta’s, a legendary Brooklyn restaurant known for making the best pizza outside of Italy (not to mention the sensational house-made “n’duja,” a fiery Calabrian smoked pork spread I crave). Have a listen to my conversation with Linda on her program, “A Taste of the Past,” here, and see what I mean.
Nearly twenty-five years ago I wrote an article for Cook’s magazine titled “Polenta: To Stir With Love.” In it, I advocated the traditional method for stirring the cornmeal and water continually as it simmers on the stove for lump-free and silky results, just as I had watched my mother and countless cooks in Italy’s polenta-loving regions do. Although most cornmeal package directions call for simmering it for some 45 minutes, many Italian cooks believe that it should be cooked for at least an hour or even longer, to improve its creaminess and render it more digestible. (Where the stirring was once done […more…]
A new spaghetti so revolutionary in the pasta universe that it could be likened to the discovery of a new planet. Pasta Rapida 90” is an artisan spaghetti conceived to cook in 90 seconds to commemorate the maker’s 90-year anniversary, and to “end the controversy between Futurism and spaghetti.” Read all about it here.
We’re getting close to Thanksgiving, so I’m sending out this little dessert recipe that will cuddle up to pumpkin pie (why have only one dessert?)—or even replace it. Everyone will love you for adding some Italian panache to the feast. Continue reading here for the recipe… *A Note about the artist: This whimsical watercolor was painted by one of my favorite illustrators, Laura Cornell, for my weekly column in the now defunct “Suburbia Today” Sunday magazine section of the Westchester-Rockland (Gannett) newspapers. Laura, already a successful illustrator, went on to become a published author of children’s books as well, including […more…]
If you missed my broadcast on NPR this time last year about how I came to invent sweet potato gnocchi, tune in today. NPR is re-running the show on “All Things Considered,” the “Found Recipe” series, in time for Thanksgiving. You just may want these little beauties on your holiday table, dressed with sage butter and a veil of grated cheese. Serve them the way the Italians would, as a first course before the turkey. For the recipe, continue reading here…
Boulder is a serious food town where you can find everything from Colorado bison ragù to mule foot pork chops, local pecorino to real Venice-style gelato. I was there recently for the Chefs Collaborative Summit, a meeting of renowned chefs and like-minded professionals who are in the business of food—growing it, producing it, cooking it, selling it and writing about it. Many I spoke to told me that they have learned their trades from Italy’s artisans whose ancient food traditions have inspired them. Why that is, will be the subject of future articles, but here are some of the highlights of […more…]